Her Mother's Heart Attack Prompts April to Lose 100 Pounds
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Before: 260 lbs.
What was the turning point that prompted you to lose weight?In October 2013, my mother passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack due to complications from her diabetes. This prompted me to get serious about my own health.
When did you start trying to lose weight?In January 2014, I decided to go all out with losing weight. I created an Instagram page and started following personal trainers, and I even took their advice on eating smaller portions and the importance of weightlifting. After losing more than 10 pounds in one month, and seeing the changes in my body, I was hooked. It was a great feeling.
How did you get started?I cut out all processed and fast food. I started eating clean, having smaller meals five to six times a day, and drinking at least a gallon of water daily. And I joined a gym down the street from my house.
What was your biggest challenge?Learning how to , which was very hard for me at first because I wasn’t used to preparing my food in advance: I was used to eating whatever I wanted when I was hungry, and that usually turned out to be something that was very unhealthy.
Were there any times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?There were times I felt like giving up, and I questioned if I could actually lose the weight. I had yo-yo dieted in the past, and there was a fear that this time would end up the same. But before my mother passed away, she told me there was nothing in life I couldn’t do if I put my mind to it. So when I was having days where I didn’t feel like working out, I would remember those words of encouragement.
If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?There was a point where the scale seemed to not be moving. It was stuck for weeks at a time. But I did my research about weightlifting, and learned that it wasn’t unusual for the scale to not move, or even go up a bit, if you’re putting on muscle. When I felt discouraged, I would take photos of myself and compare them to when I had started; this helped me a lot. I , because it wasn’t really showing my success with becoming more physically fit.
What’s your current exercise routine?I do cardio three to four times per week for 20 to 30 minutes, and I lift weights five times a week.
What’s your daily diet look like?Since my workouts are at 5 a.m., I typically do not eat beforehand, so I make sure my body is fueled up the night before. After my workout, I usually eat egg whites, oatmeal, and fruit. Then I will have a , which is one of my favorite treats: rice cakes with peanut butter. Lunch is usually chicken with veggies and sweet potatoes, and my dinner is usually fish, rice, and mixed veggies or a salad. If I get hungry before bedtime, I like to eat eggs.
What’s your favorite healthy snack and meal?Rice cakes with peanut butter topped with a banana.
How has losing weight changed your life?It's changed it a lot. I’m a happier person, and I have a better appreciation for life. It brings me great joy when others see my success and say that I’m an inspiration to them. This has motivated me to become a certified personal trainer.
Do you have any advice for those trying to lose weight?Figure out what works best for you, take your time, and be patient. I find that many people see losing weight as a race, but it isn’t. The most important thing is your health. Let your health be your No. 1 priority. If you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just get back up and keep going!
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